What’s in a name?


A small rural village in Austria with a population of around a hundred souls, has a controversial global name.

Street sign

Fucking (which is pronounced with the vowel oo as in book) is located in the municipality of Tarsdorf, in the Innviertel region of western Upper Austria, close to the German-Bavarian border which is formed by the Inn river.

Despite having a population of only 104 in 2005, the village has drawn attention for its unusual place name in the English-speaking world. Its road signs are a popular attraction by visitors; when the signs were often stolen by souvenir-hunting vandals, the signs were modified to be theft-resistant in 2005.

In 2004, owing mainly to the stolen signs, a vote was held on changing the village’s name, but the residents voted against doing so.  Tarsdorf municipality’s mayor Siegfried Höppl stated that it was decided to keep the name as it had existed for 800 years. He reportedly said,

Everyone here knows what it means in English, but for us
Fucking is Fucking – and it’s going to stay Fucking.

If you are wondering how this name came into existence, here’s some riveting history:

It is believed that the settlement was founded in the 6th century AD by Focko, a Bavarian nobleman. The Austrian region during this century was mostly under the domain of the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths, and was populated by a mix of Christians and Pagans. The existence of the village was documented for the first time in 1070, and historical records show that some twenty years later, the lord was recorded in Latin as Adalpertus de Fucingin.

The spelling of the name has evolved over the years; it is first recorded in historical sources with the spelling as Vucchingen in 1070, Fukching in 1303, Fugkhing in 1532, and in the modern spelling Fucking in the 18th century. The ending “-ing” is an old Germanic suffix indicating the people belonging to the root word to which it is attached, thus Fucking means “place of Focko’s people”.

Comments are closed.